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Exploring the often surprising links between concepts, themes and people in classical music, from medieval to modern


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Saturday, April 13, 2019 Permalink

The Espagnole Connection

Renoir's "Young Spanish Woman with Guitar" (1898)


It’s an odd fact that the best-known “Spanish” music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries is actually by French composers.

Of course, Spain was just across the mountains, and a train route between the two countries was completed in 1864.

But more to the point were the Spanish musical forms that could be exploited and that audiences would recognize and appreciate. 

In this hour, the French perspective on its southern neighbor—from Bizet’s Carmen to Debussy’s Iberia, from Chabrier’s Espana to Ravel’s Bolero.


Title Group/Artist Catalog # UPC
Carmen & L’Arlesienne Suites Musiciens du Louvre--Grenoble Naïve 5130 822186051306
Lalo/Saint-Saens Vengerov, London Philharmonic EMI Classics 75932 724355759320
Soprano Songs and Arias Martinez Naxos 8.557827 747313282722
Voix des Landes - A Travers Chants Choeur A Capella Agorila Amazon download: B001PUY7MQ
Carmen Price, Karajan RCA Victor 6199-2-RG 078635619928
Saint-Saens, Vol. 2 London Philharmonic Orchestra Cala CACD 1016 5015853101625
Chabrier: Espana Detroit Symphony Orchestra Mercury 434 303-2 028943430326
Sylvia/Le Cid National Philharmonic Orchestra Decca 425 475-2 028942547520

Debussy – Piano Works, Vol. 2


Chandos CHAN 10443


Debussy Orchestral Works


Philips 438 742-2



Boston Symphony Orchestra

RCA Victor 828766637427


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